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Revival of endangered Delacour’s langur in Vietnam

Revival of endangered Delacour’s langur in Vietnam

Poaching and loss of habitat drove Delacour’s langurs to the verge of extinction nearly three decades ago and they have been listed as critically endangered in the Vietnam Red Data Book ever since. However, concerted conservation efforts have saved the rare primate, with numbers now increasing to 250 in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Delacour’s langurs are also on the list of critically-endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They were named after French-US scientist Jean Theodore Delacour, who first discovered the primate in Vietnam.

Scientists found some 300 individuals at the end of the 1980s. However, the IUCN said there were only 250 left in 2015 due to poaching for traditional medicine. Populations of the world’s rarest animal can still be found in the Van Long Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh province and limestone mountains in Ha Nam province.
Tran Xuan Quang, a staff member at the Van Long Nature Reserve, said Delacour’s langurs are spotted regularly and their health can be determined by the colour of their fur.

According to Quang, local people, once a major threat to the primates, now give a helping hand to their protection and have made them a symbol of the region.
Last year, a baby Delacour’s langur was born on Ngoc Island in Ninh Binh’s Trang An Landscape Complex, giving fresh hope for the revival of the rare primate.

According to the primatologist, the Frankfurt Zoological Society of Germany has provided support for the Van Long Nature Reserve to protect Delacour’s langur. The joint efforts of various parties have paid off./.